Marley Natural's bid to become the first global cannabis lifestyle brand started in a rented house in the Hollywood Hills. That's where L.A. insiders got a first look at its hemp seed body care products and artfully arranged smoking accessories the day before the label's official launch — the 71st birthday of the late reggae singer Bob Marley.
Touted as the "official Bob Marley cannabis brand," the New York company is a collaboration between Seattle-based Privateer Holdings and the Marley family, several of whom were on hand for the occasion (including musician, actress and artist Zuri Marley — Bob and Rita's granddaughter — who flew in from New York City).
Why a pied-a-terre high above the City of Angels for the launch?
Los Angeles was the logical choice, said Privateer Holdings' director of public relations Zach Hutson, because "we're creating a lifestyle brand."
While one segment of its business is the smokable product made from four different strains of cannabis flower — sold in Los Angeles dispensaries only to those who can legally possess cannabis by recommendation or authority of a California-licensed physician — much of the lifestyle end of the Marley Natural brand centers on a line of completely THC-free personal-care products that combine cold-pressed hemp-seed oil and an assortment of Jamaica-sourced botanicals, including ginger, lemon grass and turmeric.
Items include a body wash with traces of eucalyptus and ginger; body lotion with a zing of lemon grass, bergamot and rosemary (each $25 per 8-ounce bottle); bar soap ($15); lip balm ($8) and a few other salves and ointments.
Currently available via the Marley Natural online shop, retail distribution is expected to widen by the middle of the year. (It's easy to see the product lineup right at home on shelves of your local Whole Foods.)
Marley Natural also makes an assortment of handsome accessories made with sustainably grown, kiln-dried American black walnut wood and hand-blown glass.
There are contoured walnut wood trays ($65 and $78) finished with teak oil, stash boxes ($52) with nifty compartments and a range of pipes ($35 to $162).
Like any good aspiring 21st century lifestyle brand, the launch of Marley Natural comes with a tailor-made philanthropic effort.
Called Rise Up, it is committed to environmental sustainability, social change and adding to "the conversation about cannabis." It aims to help communities in Jamaica and around the world, as well as fund projects that reflect "Bob Marley's message of positivity, social justice and respect for nature" in coordination with global crowd-sourcing nonprofit GlobalGiving.
Marley Natural accessories and body products are available online at www.marleynaturalshop.com.